Mesho gorani

[Full notes] [Summary notes] [Other dances & the source code]

Formation Circle. No hold.
Dance Structure ((A x 2) + (B x 2)) repeated throughout the music.
Music Structure 2 counts/bar, 8 bars/phrase.
Music Speed 96 counts/min.
Translation A 'Gorani' (a common dance name derived from 'Khergour' (a mountain in Daron)) from the Moush region. region of former West Armenia).
Choreographer Paylak Sarkisian (who added typical Armenian women's armwork to the footwork of this traditional dance).
Source Tineke van Geel (who got it from Paylak Sarkisian in 2003) at her Armenian course in Brecon, 2005. Scarves addition suggested by Bożena Lawrence at Youlgrave in August 2015. More styling details from Tineke van Geel in her COVID-19 online class for Folk Arts Center of New England 2020/6/28.

Disclaimer: Mistakes are quite likely in the notes and no guarantees are made as to accuracy. There may be other versions of the same dance or other dances with the same name. Music may differ, particularly in speed, introduction and duration, between performers. The division into parts, bars & counts might not be standard. These notes of the dance are freely distributable (under GPL or CC-by-sa) in so much as the note's author's contribution but the choreography and/or collection were by other people and so their copyright might apply to the dance itself. Better than using notes, go to a dance class where it is taught by Tineke van Geel or Paylak Sarkisian.

A simple (in steps that is, not in detailed styling) & flowing Armenian women's dance.

This is how I remembered it from Tinike's teaching. The version in her written notes was almost the same but with the addition of a third part & was of the form (((A x 2) + (B x 2)) x 4 + C) repeated and the arms in Part B were slightly different.

When I first lead it, in 2015, I had lead a scarf dance (Ege Karşılaması) shortly beforehand & so had a pile of scarves out. Some of the dancers asked me to repeat the dance & one of them came up with the idea of using the scarves with it. I chose a typical Armenian scarf hold that suited the hand positions of the dance and the group tried it. It fitted so I added that option to these notes. (Although it is probably not ethnically authentic, the hand movements themselves were an addition to the traditional dance anyway; albeit that was by a top Armenian stage & TV choreographer!)

Style: Bouncy (up-down) but relaxed steps. Smooth flowing arms. Very genteel & feminine. Standard Armenian women's hand shape (digits straight & together and hand flat with the exception of the middle finger which is straight but has a slight flexion at the basal knuckle).


Summary: None.

Start immediately or at the beginning of any phrase.

Part A

Summary: Triple step starting R raising R arm & travelling acw. Mirror (still travelling acw).

Start Facing acw around the circle. No hold.
Torso R shoulder leads (torso is 45 deg acw of the direction of travel, head faces direction of travel).
1 R forwards walking step.
& L close to beside R foot onto ball of L foot.
2 R forwards walking step.
R arm
1-2 Raise R arm in direction of travel from vertically down to horizontal with elbow straight, palm starting facing forwards (ending facing up) and hand in line with the arm.
& Continue upward motion of hand by flexing at wrist until the plane of the hand is tilted about 45 deg above the (horizontal) line of the arm. Then quickly move rotate the wrist 180 deg acw ending with the hand flat, parallel to the coronal plane & pointing down.
L arm If it is raised then it is lowered with elbow straight to vertically down with the hand in line with the arm. This is done very gently and feels as if lazily doing it too late (described as "space cake" style) in taking almost the whole bar to lower.
2 Repeat bar 1 in mirror image (L, R, L Triple step raising L arm with L shoulder leading).

Part B

Summary: (R turning to L, L close) raising hands infront of chest & turn. (L turning back, R close) & lowering hands.

Start Facing acw around the circle. No hold.
1 R step forwards turning 135 deg acw (to face 45 deg acw of the direction to the centre of the circle). R foot ends up centrewards of where one was before the step. Start a downwards bounce by slight flexion of the knees.
2 L close to beside R foot without weight transfer. Complete the bounce by straightening the knees.
1-2 Raise hands infront by flexing elbows with hands in line with forearms and palms facing forwards ending with hands vertical infront of breasts about 20 cm from the chest with palms facing backwards (towards chest).
& Rotate L wrist cw & R wrist acw so that palms face away from chest.
1 L step backwards turning 135 deg acw (to face cw around the circle). L foot ends up centrewards back where it started Part B (on the circle).
2 R close to beside L foot without weight transfer.
Arms Lower hands down to arms vertically down by straightening the elbows with hands in line with the forearms and the palms facing forwards (ending facing backwards).

With scarves option

Summary: Scarf in each hand.

Do dance identically to the original version but with scarves. Probably not ethnically fitting but looks good.

Scarves about 40-60cm square of medium to floaty material. One in each hand. Held by corner wrapped around middle finger and bulk of material hanging between middle & ring finger on the palm side.